Dendrogeomorphology review and new techniques of tree ring dating

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Ste Victoire area to the east and north of the mountain immortalised by the paintings of Cezanne.

In this west-to-east aligned vale, both valley side slopes show evidence of past and present gullying activity.

This special issue contains a selection of presentations given to session NH10.02 “Treering reconstructions in natural hazards research”, organized within the General Assembly of the EGU in Vienna on 20 April 2007.

The session was convened by Markus Stoffel and Michelle Bollschweiler.

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It is apparent that the distribution of plants, and in particular of trees, must somehow be related to surface materials and to the scale of gullying activity.

Time series of tree rings have considerably contributed to the endeavors of earth-system, earth-surface processes and natural hazards in the past.

The potential of dendrogeomorphology (Stoffel et al., 2010) lies in the capacity of trees growing in climates with distinct seasons to both preserve evidence of past disasters and to provide critical information on their dating with annual and sometimes monthly resolution (Stoffel and Beniston, 2006; Kaczka et al., 2010).

As a result, tree-ring records may represent one of the most valuable and precise natural archives for the reconstruction and therefore for the understanding of past events.

The initial employment of tree rings in earth-surface process studies was simply as a dating tool (Alestalo, 1971; Shroder, 1980): it rarely exploited other environmental information that could be derived from studies of ringwidth variations and records of damage contained within the tree itself.

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